Book Review: The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler

Bex's Book Reviews: insights from a book-a-day addict

Apex Book Company: Probing Your Imagination Since 2005!Another stop on the Apex September Back Catalog Blog Tour. As you’ve probably picked up by now, Apex authors have been blowing me away with the quality of their work and I’m so honored to get to be part of this. The Kraken Sea is one of the books Lesley Conner recommended I take a look at. I asked her to suggest some of the books needing reviewer attention that might fit my reading tastes. I got nervous looking in the catalog because I don’t like books that scare me. And for some reason I thought stuff leaning towards horror would make me afraid to put my feet down on the floor when I need to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night when I’ve been reading half night. I thought wrong. Apparently horror is a very broad spectrum and much of it just has amazing dark overtones that I love without making me hate the author for trapping me into something that is terrifying me.

But back to the point–Apex has amazing tastes in fiction. I devoured The Kraken Sea as voraciously as my other Apex picks and I keep telling people to read them all.

Apex Back Catalog Blog Tour: The Kraken Sea

Cover of The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine ToblerI wasn’t more than a few paragraphs into The Kraken Sea before I fell totally in love with Tobler’s voice in this piece. Even the first line hooked me hard. I read one of her shorts in Do Not Go Quietly and, although I also loved that one, this voice was quite different.

The rest of the story flowed beautifully from and in the voice and the times I was interrupted (like by body demanding sleep), I hated to put it down even a moment.

Don’t ask me what genre this is beyond speculative fiction. I think I’m bad at classifying and I tend not to care. It’s superdark without making me afraid to put my feet on the floor or go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The world is an excellent mix of history and unreality with a nice dose of myth. And the characters struggle with not feeling like they belong, which I’m sure most of us have felt in our lives, especially when we were the main character’s age.

He may be young, but I definitely wouldn’t consider the book’s appeal to be limited to young adult readers. Things felt far more adult than a lot of what I have read that is classified as YA. I think perhaps it is more ageless.

The story is completely satisfying as it stands, but the unusual world and compelling storytelling leave me hungry for more. Please tell me there is more in this setting even if not these characters.

Yeah, I know I’ve told you nothing about what the book’s about. But I never do. Go read the blurbs. Better yet, go read the book. Let Tobler’s own words (perhaps more accurately they are Jackson’s?) carry you away to this world. You don’t need expectations. You just need to dive in and get caught in the current.

So 5 stars to The Kraken Sea from this star hoarder. I’ve got another author to add to my “must have more words to devour” list.

So the day after I drafted this review in prep for posting it today, Apex released a blog entry from the author about this world. It includes really amazing news–MORE OF THIS WORLD IS COMING! So I am already bouncing with excitement and spattering fan drool all over waiting for The Grand Tour collection.

Oh, sorry about that. Did I get some on you? Here, have a handkerchief. 

More excellent news if you are reading this in September 2019: In connection with this book tour, Apex is offering 25% off everything in the Apex store all month long with discount code SEPTEMBER. So this is a great time to check out the tour, pick some favorites, and do a little shopping. If you’re on twitter, search for the hashtag #backcatalogblogtour to find all the reviews and interviews throughout the month. I strongly recommend you put The Kraken Sea, Sing Me Your Scars, everything by Maurice Broaddus, and the Do Not Go Quietly collection on your shopping list to start, if you can afford them (otherwise go beg your local library to expand their collection). And I’m not done for this month yet! 

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